This Copper Fiber Mask from Japan Can Kill COVID-19 Particles in 4 Hours
Gunma University in Japan has developed a copper fiber sheet that can be utilized for anything from face masks to gloves, creating a stronger barrier for the public against COVID-19 as the novel coronavirus can only be active for four hours on copper material.
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U.S. National Institute of Health study found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, can stay alive on surfaces from hours to days. The virus can be stable for two to three days on plastic and stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard, three hours in aerosols, and four hours on copper.
Copper is known for its antimicrobial properties, and with the help of copper manufacturer Meisei Industry Co., the Japanese university put its innovation to the test by achieving a possible breakthrough in the fight to flatten the curve.
So how does it work? The copper fiber sheet features a light-responsive photocatalyst, meaning that whenever the sheet is exposed to light, it activates high oxidizing substances that will break down the virus particles, rendering it inactive—effectively killing it—in four hours.
"The material used breaks new ground for preventing mass outbreaks of the virus, and we would like to have it out there soon," said Hideyuki Itabashi, executive chairman of Gunma University Development and Innovation and a professor at Gunma University.